Franco Maria Ricci



The designer, bibliophile, and art collector Franco Maria Ricci expired on 10 September in La Magione, the house-archive near his native Parma where, encouraged by Jorge Luis Borges, he built a mythical labyrinth. He was born in 1937 into a family whose lineage flowed through lush genealogical trees, and this ancestry perhaps explains his militant adherence to the Stendhalian “for the happy few,” as well as his unabashed desire to behave like a “man of another time” in the age of technical reproducibility and pop. One of his achievements was to tame mass media through projects bound to fail but which, while they lasted, recalled the old shine of culture. Projects like the gorgeous facsimiles of some great titles of thought; the Biblioteca di Babele, which fed Borges’s sophisticated taste to the general public; and especially the magazine that bore Ricci’s initials, FMR, exquisite in every sense, which had editions in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and German, and which among other things helped to recover the more unclassifiable architectures of mannerism and the visionaries of the Enlightenment so admired by Ricci.

Included Tags: